Tally Ho!

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Leipzig, 17th October - Probstheida

This battle on the southern route of advance was the one where the Coalition had made its big push for the the day. They had a 20% points advantage but this translated into at 50% more units as the French had deployed lots of Guards units to bolster the line and the Coalition had quite a bit of Inferior infatry.  

It was also the first outing for my deeper table (5' vs 4'). My new mats have yet to arrive, hence one end being a bit bare.

The French deployed with the Germans on the right holding the village of Probsthedia. Centrally were some Guards and on their left more Guards plus the cavalry line-up to take the hill that held an objective. Their plan was to focus their cannon against anyone attacking the village. Their line was fairly long with a frontage of about 10'    

Germans refusing the right flank

Guards in the centre

Guards and cavalry on the left 

The more numerous coalition forces were able to fill the table from edge-to-edge. The Russians were massed across from the Germans and the village. Both infantry commanders were inept, which teamed with most infantry being Interior Training, could slow the attack.  Austrians held the centre with their Grenadiers making a rare outing.     

Massed Russians

Austrians and a few Swedes in the centre

The Prussians took the flank opposite the hill and the French Guards. They were able to deploy cavalry and infantry outside the French line and so threaten the flanks. They had 2-1 on numbers but 60% of the infantry were Inferior Landwehr units.     
Prussians read to attack the hill

More Prussians in a flanking position 

The battle began with both the French and Prussians advancing on the hill situated on the French left. The presence of Prussian cavalry and guns forced some of the Guards to turn to the flank to stop and attack from there. The Prussians threw all their best units up the hill, beating back the French horse and forcing the Old Guard to give ground. The routing French heavy cavalry caused some confusion in the ranks as they inflicted hits on many of the tightly packed units behind the hill.       

The Russian attack was much slower as the Inept Generals failed to issue many orders and the infantry milled about  under long range skirmish fire. They were able to charge with their cuirassiers but they bounded-off a unit of Germans.  

Pressure slowly built on the Germans but they remained in good order and were holding off the slowly advancing Russians. 

Russian attack

For the Guard on the other flank things were going much worse. The Austrian horse routed the French Hussars and the Old Guard broke under attack from two sides, exposing a unit of  Young Guard who themselves routed. Things were now bleak on the French left with Prussian troops pouring around the exposed flank.    

At the end of the evening the Germans on the French right were standing firm but had yet to face the full Russian attack as they toiled-up under dodgy brigadiers. The French centre had made cautious progress and was exchanging long-range fire with the Austrians. The French left had largely collapsed with the remaining Young Guards charged in the flank by pursuing Austrian cuirassier.     

We concluded that the French would have lost within a few turns as they were close to their 10 unit breakpoint- they were 6-0 down at that point with the Young Guards hit in the flank likely to make it 7-0. We could have fought on next week but that prospect offered little enjoyment for the French so they opted to withdraw.    

The post-match analysis offered a number of theories for the French defeat. Personally I felt the French had a decent plan of concentrating their units and attacking with the Guard while the Germans held the village. The issue could have been that they did nt really focus that much with the Guards holding about 7' of frontage with only 3 brigades and the early routing of the cavalry causing hits on key units.   

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